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Re: Remote administration and GUI applications

__/ [Larry Qualig] on Friday 17 February 2006 00:48 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> __/ [Larry Qualig] on Thursday 16 February 2006 15:43 \__
>> >
>> > mlw wrote:
>> >> Say whatever you want about Windows, blah blah bah
>> >>
>> >> create a shortcut:
>> >> ssh -XC hostname program.
>> >>
>> >> Violla!! You have a desktop link to an application on anther machine.
>> >
>> >
>> > < snip />
>> Two points to make:
>> * Do not forget KSSH and similar front ends. SSH is not a command-line
>> thing anymore, but experienced users tend to choose that route, which is
>> often quicker. This tendency often leads to this misconception that Linux
>> is (still) command-line-driven.
> I just installed kssh on the laptop... by default SuSE doesn't install
> it. I tried it out and it's okay. The only ssh option I really use is
> "-X" and I'm comfortable using the command line so I'll probably stick
> with the command line.

Once you master the command-line, there's no point in using the
typically-more-cumbersome front ends. I ran KSSH a few times several years
ago and it was installed on SuSE 8.1 by default as far as I can tell (I have
not tried it with my more modern box yet). I had it mapped to a mouse
gensture (WayV) and a keyboard accelerator, so I sometimes invoke it by
mistake, thus I remember its existence.

> Interesting observation: If I simply run ssh -XC <hostname> <app> it
> "sort of" works. It acts as if the path never gets set if I run it this
> way. For example... if I run "ssh -XC suse xcalc" it won't work but
> "ssh -XC suse /usr/X11R6/bin/xcalc" will work. If I ssh in to a console
> my bash shell loads and the paths then all get set. Then I can run apps
> without the fully qualified path.
>> * ssh -XC hostname gnome-panel OR ssh -XC hostname kicker. Put this behind
>> the KSSH GUI, for example, and voila! The user has got the entire panel
>> imported from the remote machine. No need for any commands or any typing
>> into the command-line. User taps icon on the Desktop, a prompt for
>> password comes up in a widget, user types in password and waits for a new
>> panel to load up in his/her desktop environment. Then, open any
>> application from the usual menus.
> I tried this and it was really cool.... for the first 5 seconds. I
> first ran it with gnome-panel but it didn't work since I'm using KDE. I
> never realized that the "task bar" was 'kicker' but I was able to run
> it remotely. It was really cool for 5 seconds and my laptop was
> definitely displaying the 'kicker' from my desktop. (Both machines
> running identical SuSE 10.0 setups.)

Panels can interfere at times, primarily due to placement conventions. You
can customise these for a better fit and, as soon as you quit the imported
panel (e.g. <Ctrl>+C), all returns to normal. Since all panels (7 of them
here) are automatically hiding, which give more screen space, there is not
much interference when I pull GNOME panels from Ubuntu onto Linux.

> But then it got weird. The "kicker" app started slowly creeping up the
> screen. In about 30 seconds it had scrolled off the top of my laptops
> display. But the weird thing as it was scrolling up is that all of the
> apps/windows that were open on the laptop "scrunched" as if the display
> size were shrinking.

A session within a session is a counter-trivial case. What happens if you
have different desktop environments combined or have identical panels
appear? Linux gives you this ability, but be aware that you are pushing the
limits and accept the consequences. *smile*

> But that's not a big deal, at least for me. I have a pretty good idea
> of what apps I have and like I said before, I'm comfortable with the
> command line. (BTW... bash beats the snot out of the standard Windows
> command line. Luckily there's cygwin but I don't like the syntax of
> having to use /cygdrive/xxxxx.)

Cygwin must be losing its luster. I believe that VWWare is now free, so why
not just go for the real thing rather than emulate in some inflexible black

>> > But there is a much larger problem. How the hell is the average
>> > computer user going to learn to setup ssh? First they need to run the
>> > SSH server on their machine. That's the easy part.
>> SSH is enabled by default on some distributions. Ubuntu only needs OpenSSH
>> installed (Synaptic makes this a clickthough job). In SuSE, you need only
>> open YaST (or go via Control Centre) and tick a box under the networking
>> header. It makes the workstation accessible via SSH, i.e. an SSH-enabled
>> server.
> SSH is certainly enabled by default on SuSE. I had to check to be sure.
> I know it works on the desktop but I couldn't remember if I installed
> it seperately. But it's also running on the laptop so I know it's a
> default.

SuSE 9.3 has it installed by default. I imagine that successors of SuSE have
not changed this policy, which includes SSH allow connections from outside
(albeit one might need to add SSH to firewall exclusions).

>> > But before you can use ssh you need to generate a public/private
>> > keypair using sshkeygen. Huh... try explaining a public/private keypair
>> > to Joe six-pack.
>> No, you need only log in with your password and the key is generated
>> automatically. You might be facing some misunderstanding or misconception
>> here. I have set up SSH on several boxes and on every distribution I
>> tried, the process was largely automatic.
> Just for fun I had an ssh session going from the laptop to the desktop.
>>From that session I connected back to my laptop (need to get a 3rd
> Linux machine up and running!) I was able to run apps from there using
> an extra level of indirection. I definitely need to get a 3rd machine
> running (I actually have one available) and see what happens if I ssh
> from one to another, to another. Sounds like fun.... in a
> geeky/curiousity sort of way.

We have all committed crimes of geekery:


Scroll down to "Traffic Chain".


>  <snip />

Roy S. Schestowitz      | Windows O/S: chmod a-x internet; kill -9 internet
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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